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Category Archives: Eric Clapton

The Original Guitar Hero

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Les Paul, 1915 - 2009

A real revoluntionary of the music business is gone.

Les Paul, inventor of the electric, amplified guitar and picker extraordinnaire passed away today from complications of pneumonia at the age of 94.  Born in 1915 with a love of music, Les Paul began playing harmonica and guitar on the street, while still in his childhood.  When a listener critiqued the volume of his guitar playing, Les was determined to find a way to increase the sound.  While gainfully employed as a musician throughout his teens and early adulthood, Les continued to tinker until he created “The Log” — a 4″ X 4″ with amplified strings with a guitar body attached for asthetics.  

As early as 1939, Les Paul brought his “invention” to Gibson Guitar company where he was summarily laughed off the property.  However, they eventually worked with Paul to create the legendary solid-body design that caries his signature and name.  Probably one of the most famous Les Paul models is “Lucille”, B.B. King’s infamous instrument.

bb king lucille 

Generations of guitarists have chosen the signature Les Paul Gibson as their axe of choice, including guitar greats Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Mayer, Mark Knopfler and Les Paul’s close buddy, the late, great Chet Atkins.  Chet’s half-brother, Jim, was a member of the Les Paul Trio, who famously played throughout the 50s and 60s.  Both Les and Chet have been major influences in the evolution of the guitar as a forefront instrument.  They were good friends with a strong, mutual respect for each other.

  The Birth of the Blues, Les Paul & Chet Atkins

Amazingly, Les Paul could not read music.  However, his superb ear and creativity provided ingenuity in playing that basically made the guitar speak.  He brought personality to guitar.  He also brought it to the recording studio.  Using his wife, Mary Ford’s pure voice, Les Paul began over-dubbing and multi-track recording, revolutionizing how recordings were made and producing rich sound that resonates deeply within.

There are so many facets to Les Paul and the genius of his 94 years.  I strongly encourage you to look him up on YouTube and Google and watch the documentaries and performances about this icon who literally changed the face of modern music. 

Perhaps Guitar Hero will add a Les Paul version to honor the Original Guitar Hero.  (They may need to add a looping accessory….)

 

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Happy Dad’s Day

Today, we honor the Dads and Grand-Dads, alive and gone, who are/were those loving, solid rocks who we adored as children, sparred with as teenagers and honored as adults.  If yours is still here, hug his neck tightly today.

Here are a few “Father” favorites:

  My Father’s Eyes, Eric Clapton

  My Little Girl, Tim McGraw

  Cats in the Cradle, Harry Chapin

Miss you, Daddy.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2009 in acoustic, Eric Clapton, family, holidays

 

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Guitars

  Living Legends

  The Protege’

  The Rebel

  The Legacy

  The Master

  The Student

  The Genesis

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2009 in acoustic, blues, Eric Clapton, John Mayer

 

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Boat Songs

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A few weeks ago, I shared that we have begun our journey down the road to river living.  There’ll be more enthralling stories to come, but for now we’re enjoying our new toy.  Last weekend was our first real foray into the waters.  Now, I find myself anxious and excited to get to the end of the week for more than the aspect of “getting my drink on”.

In my ‘weekend’ post, I mentioned taking advantage of the boat’s awesome on-board CD player and my Boat playlist.  Little Deb requested to see/hear it and who am I to deny Little Deb.  So, without further adieu….the Music Maven Weekend Out on the Water Thank the Lord for the Weekend Boat Playlist.

Captain Jim’s Drunken Dream, James Taylor

Life is Beautiful, Keb ‘Mo

The Heart of Life, John Mayer

Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

Luckenbach, Texas, Waylon Jennings

Old Blue Chair, Kenny Chesney

I’ll Follow the Sun, The Beatles

My Father’s Eyes, Eric Clapton

Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney

Free, Donovan Frankenreiter

Sweet Wanomi, Bill Withers

Sea of Heartbreak, George Straight with Jimmy Buffett

The World Ain’t Slowin’ Down, Ellis Paul

You Really Got a Hold on Me, The Beatles (w/ Billy Preston)

She’s Got a Hold on Me, Hacienda

Too Much Stuff, Delbert McClinton

Walkin’ to New Orleans, Fats Domino

Sending Me Angels, Delbert McClinton

Melissa, Allman Brothers

Pirate Looks at 40, Jimmy Buffett

Really, no rhyme nor reason…just various tunes I dig, especially on the water.  Livin’ for Saturday.

Hope you have a great weekend.  I KNOW I will…

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Every Day I Have the Blues…The Progression

Yep.  Every day. 

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  Originally recorded by Memphis Slim, 1948

  Elmore James

  Professor Longhair

  B.B. King

  T-Bone Walker & Chuck Berry

  Buddy Guy

  Eric Clapton

  John Mayer

 

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Stormy Monday

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Yeah, it’s a Stormy Monday here…in more ways than one. We need the rain, so I’m not too disappointed in the storms that we’re having. Yet, facing a rainy Monday after a long holiday weekend is excruciating pain. A pain that can only be captured by the Blues.

T-Bone Walker (The Original)

Stormy Monday was written and recorded by T-Bone Walker in 1947 , reaching #5 on the R&B Charts in 1948. It was one of the first hits to feature the electric guitar and has served as a pre-requisite for every great blues guitarist. Even the great B.B. King has said that hearing Stormy Monday lit the spark in him to be a guitar man.

The song appropriately captures that Monday feeling. You know, the “you’d rather be dipped in honey and lay down in a bed of ants” feeling? The Allman Brothers re-popularized the song in the ’70s, but I couldn’t find their version. You’ll just have to be satisfied with these other fine performances.

Stevie Ray Vaughn & Albert Bell Eric Clapton

Eva Cassidy

John Mayer

Now, you’re going to tell me that a man that “gets” and can play Stormy Monday like THAT, seriously thinks Justin Timberlake rawks?

1 + 1 <> 3.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2007 in blues, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, weekdays, work

 

Meet you at the “Crossroads”…

The ever-observant NOLAGirl sent me a red hot alert on the fact that John Mayer did the GMA Concert in the Park yesterday morning and concluded his performance with none other than Eric Clapton on a duet of Crossroads.

  Clayer – Crossroads

I love to see talented legends like Clapton playing and mentoring with younger impresarios and proteges.  As B.B. King was to Eric Clapton, so he is to John Mayer and others.  While Clapton is notoriously aloof and complex, he is often found performing with new artists as well as other established artists.  That’s what happens when you’re “all about the music”.

For John Mayer’s complete GMA performances, click here.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2007 in Eric Clapton, John Mayer

 
 
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